The Green New Deal and AOC’s powerful presence in Congress has changed the narrative on climate change to the extent that republicans are scrambling to create some form of legislation to tackle it. Even Climate sceptic Mitch McConnell has been forced to accept that Climate Change is man-made which is incredible. It is only possible for politicians to mock very real fears surrounding climate change when there is not a strong voice in favour of scientific and empirical facts.
The reason The Green New Deal is so threatening to politicians and the destructive status quo is that it does not only address Climate Change it accepts and embraces that in order to tackle the apocalyptic temperatures that are predicted we must transform the economy. Climate Change is consistently the lowest concern for the majority of voters so proposing bills that only tackle Climate Change is a terrible tactic. A gilet jaunes protester said it best ‘While politicians worry about the end of the world we worry about the end of the month’ the only way to tackle climate change is to tackle poverty at the same time. The centrist Democrats who are arguing for a narrow policy that will be appeal to fewer people showcases the ineptitude the incremental change.
Those who claim that the Green New Deal is full of unrelated proposals including healthcare, job creation, and free college fail to recognise the connectivity of all of these proposals. By addressing structural inequalities including race, gender and sexuality the deal has the potential to be supported by all grassroots movements. This will make the deal even more popular by spreading the message that whatever is your number one issue the deal addresses it.
The Justice Democrats in office including AOC shows the power of uncorrupted politicians who speak for their constituents and not Corporations. This is an economic policy that deals with both the economic downturn most Americans have experienced and the existential threat of Climate Change and finally acknowledges that these issues are caused by the same thing; Neoliberalism. The deal is a departure of the lefts tendency to rely on folk politics and shows the power of progressive politicians with big ideas. This could be the Lefts Mont Pelerin that counters the hegemonic neoliberal narrative with a long term vision of developing a new world. Instead of fighting against policies the deal gives the left a tangible framework on which to demand new ones.
The Green New Deal has been under fire in recent weeks by both Democrats and Republicans. The Senate vote was an absolute sham the Green New Deal is not legislation it is a non-binding resolution. It is a framework on which to build policies much like the UN’s sustainable development goals. It should never have been voted on as it does not include policies but a guide for future bills. Despite claims that AOC and other climate conscious congress people and Senators have moved away from the Green New Deal after the vote are wrong. They are focusing on smaller bills that fit within the framework of it which has always been the plan. .getTim